Terrence Howard has Taraji P. Henson to thank for landing him a leading role in hit TV series Empire after she suggested her Hustle & Flow co-star would be a better fit than Wesley Snipes.
The actor reveals filmmaker Lee Daniels, the brains behind the hit new music industry drama, was already in talks with Snipes when Henson auditioned for the part of Cookie Lyon, the scorned former wife of hip-hop mogul Lucious Lyon, and revealed she would only sign on if Howard was cast as her onscreen ex.
Howard admits he was hesitant to take on another “bad guy” role, but he quickly saw the potential in Empire and knew he had been offered a choice job.
He says, “Taraji, she tried to get me to do (her 2014 crime thriller) No Good Deed. I didn’t want to play the bad guy in that, I’m always hiding away from the bad guy stuff, but I’m a professional bad guy, I dig it.
“They had Wesley Snipes, they were talking to him about it (Empire lead). She was like, ‘I dig Wesley, but if you can get Terrence, I’ll do it with Terrence. If you can’t get Terrence, bye…’ Lee was offended, but he was like, ‘This b**ch is Cookie Lyon.’ Lee called me and I was like, ‘All right, I’m in.'”